John F. O’Reilly: A Sea of Children’s Faces

Teaching at Manly Public School

201 c1900 John O'Reillys  ManlyPS_1900s_3217B

Time to check out the Teachers Rolls and school records at the State Records of New South Wales. The obituary for John F. O’Reilly in The Argus, Melbourne mentions John was a teacher between 1898 and 1900. We can look up the State Records online index of teachers rolls for 1869-1908, then check the microfilm reel listed. Otherwise, have just added the NSW Teacher’s Rolls. Either way, we find an entry for John Francis O’Reilly which reads:

Index: OREILLY John Francis Roll 7, Page 0225, Reel 1996 Series: NRS 4073: Teachers’ Rolls, 1869-1908
Teacher’s Roll: Born 26th August 1881 (No s/b 27th).
Employed as a Probationary Teacher at Manly Public School   25 May 1898.
Appointed from date of entry on duty   18 October 1898.
Promoted to Class III (exam 18.12.1899) from 1st July 1899.
Promoted to Class II (exam 12.12.00) from 1st July 1900.
Transferred to Postal Department December 1900. See John’s (CPS Manly) letter. 

The State Records of NSW (SRNSW) has many excellent research guides. Archives in Brief No. 19 provides information on Teachers and Archives in Brief No. 26 on Schools 1788-c.1979. Included among these are the school files and the schools photographic collection. I visited the SRNSW archives office at Kingswood and ordered both sets of records. I had hoped to find a picture of John F. O’Reilly similar to the one above or some of the school itself. I didn’t. Instead I found plenty of class photos and a couple of items regarding swimming and surf life saving at Manly. The dates written on the photos were given as a guide only. It’s interesting to see how the children change over the ten or twenty years from the 1890’s to 1910’s. The uniforms and rifles mark a big change.  A couple of 1920’s photos include Arthur Roden Cutler, who was born in Manly and later became Governor of New South Wales. Trove has a history of Manly Village School from 1858-2008.

These photographs are only a small part of the collection for Manly Public School but there are no other details on most of them. If anyone has more information on these photos or if they relate to your family, let me know or pass the information onto State Records. It’s wonderful to recognise someone you know, especially if you have very few photos. How many of these families could afford to buy the photos at the time?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: